A GROUP of children who attended a pantomime had no idea the cast was made up of their parents.
Mums and dads of Dramarama acting school pupils had been holding secret rehearsals for weeks in the name of the ultimate festive surprise. The boys and girls believed they were going to see fellow students perform for a production of Peter Pan at the Cork Arts Theatre.
However, when the curtains went up it was clear that all was not as it seemed.
Gasps of disbelief filled the room as children realised their parents had been cast in iconic roles like Tinkerbell, Captain Hook and Peter Pan.
Owner of Drama Rama in Mount Oval Ann Marie Lewis said it had been a struggle not to let the cat out of the bag.
"Everyone involved had to concoct a bunch of lies so that their kids wouldn't realise what was going on. At one stage the actor playing Tiger Lily spotting the dad playing Hook while out and about. She forgot herself and shouted over "Hi Hook" leaving the kids baffled by the exchange."
The kid's reactions made all their efforts worthwhile.
"The feedback was superb. They were all stunned. One kid immediately put his hands up to his head after seeing his mum dressed as a mermaid. It was a lot to process but left each family there with amazing memories. It was a brilliant experience."
Kids in the audience ranged from four to fifteen.
"They were all so proud of their parents," Ann Marie said. "None of them-bar one-had ever performed in their life. The buzz felt by everyone afterwards was incredible. Nobody could understand how this had been kept under wraps for so long."
The aptly Peter Panto also included a sensory-friendly performance to ensure that no child missed out on the production.